Word spread quickly through the Star Wars fan community that writer/director Lawrence Kasdan had been tapped to work on future Star Wars installments. While it is not clear whether he will be directly involved with the sequel trilogy, it is the latest encouraging development in the much anticipated return of Star Wars. But why, you ask?
Kasdan came to the attention of Lucas after Spielberg purchased his original screenplay for Continental Divide. That led to his being hired to write The Empire Strikes Back in the wake of Leigh Brackett's death, and shortly thereafter (after several days of story conferences with Lucas and Spielberg) his masterful work on Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Based on his work on those two films alone, I'd take Kasdan on any future Star Wars installment in any writing capacity we can get him. Sure, I'd prefer that he be involved with any films dealing with the main characters we know and love (as many of the most memorable exchanges between those characters were his), but beggars can't be choosers.
And in terms of his ability to balance action and drama, one need look no further than this fan's favorite film of all-time. Raiders of the Lost Ark is unparalleled in bridging major action set pieces with richly developed good and evil characters. What more could you ask of from a new Star Wars film?
Only time will tell if Kasdan is given the opportunity to provide us with more Star Wars tales on par with those we know and love from the OT, but in the mean time, forgive those of us who choose to celebrate like Ewoks drumming on empty Stormtrooper buckets.